Amanda Stanhaus

Tag: helen gurley brown

Baked Goods & Banking


I loved baked goods. But I make a deal with myself. No store-bought baked goods. I must make them from scratch. How I justify homemade baked good…well, I burn calories kneading the dough and save some $$.

My heroine and author of 1962’s Sex and the Single Girl Helen Gurley Brown would agree with me!

Here are her thoughts on food, drink, & entertaining:

“Give up starchy snacks, bread, pastries, suet pudding, preserves and soft drinks— all terrible for you anyhow.”

“Keep an almost bare cupboard. You don’t eat much. Who are those other people you’re feeding?”

“Cook with margarine…Cooking with cream and butter does pile calories on you and the guests you presumably love—so watch it!”

“Drink skimmed milk. It’s cheaper and keeps you skinnier!…Cook with powdered skimmed milk. One-third cup plus three-fourths cup of water makes one cup of milk loaded with minerals and vitamins and it tastes fine.”

“Try to like kidneys, hearts, liver, brains. Every nutritionists says they give you more health returns than filet mignon. Oh yes…they cost one-sixth as much. (P.S. I never learned.)”

“Posh lunches with girl-friends are to celebrate an increase in salary. Any girl who doesn’t take her lunch to work three days a week is a spendthrift. Brown bag fare is healthier. Yogurt, carrot sticks, and fruit are glamorous girl fodder. It’s cheaper. And who wants to spend noon hours in a noisy, second-rate restaurant who you can shop, stroll with a friend or sit in the sun?”

“Anyone can take you to lunch. How bored can you be for one hour?”

“Give big parties with one or two friends but don’t B.Y.O.L. anybody. Who needs a party that isn’t free?”

“Those who drink aged scotch or bourbon will have to bring flasks.”

“Don’t entertain deadbeats.”

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Saving is Sexy


I’m alway aspiring to make saving sound sexy, but Helen Gurley Brown was the original.

Here are a selection of Helen’s tips from what’s basically my bible, Sex and the Single Girl.

-Scrimp on what isn’t sexy or beautiful or really any fun, so you can afford what is.

-Never pay more when you can pay less.

-Don’t subscribe to a newspaper if you see one at the office or can borrow your landlord’s.

-Ditto magazines. Ask a friend to pass hers on after she’s read them.

-If you pay the bills, turn off the lights when you leave home.

-Give up smoking.

-Negotiate with everybody.

-Don’t undertip. This little economy is unworthy of you.

-Work for a rich man.

-Get adopted by a wealthy couple.

Got it? Got it!


(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Taming My Closet


I think I might go into lion taming. I’m qualified. I’ve had sufficient training in taming my closet.

Of course there is the weekly upkeep—laundry, ironing and mending. Plus, seasonal organizing and closet flipping.

My main taming training comes from what I add—and don’t add—to my closet.

My favorite book from 1962, Sex and the Single Girl, has some handy tips to keep in mind while taming.

“Never buy anything in a hurry. Your insecurity is showing!”

“Wash you own sweaters. Press them with a barely warm iron.”

“Wear old clothes or no clothes at home alone.”

“Wear everything you buy. No hoarding.”

Check, check, check and check! Thanks, Helen!


(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)

Ultimate Cosmo Girl Apartment Tips


I love the change of scenery when I move my desk from one wall to the other. Semi-redecorating is my specialty. I don’t actually buy new pieces for my apartment, but I rearrange what I already have.

My favorite cosmo girl, Helen Gurley Brown, would approve. Here are her thoughts on apartments, from 1962’s Sex and the Single Girl. Oh so relevant to today.

  • Don’t live too far from your work.
  • If you are being courted by a man, try to live near him.
  • Some of the most amusing, chic, and elegant flats in any city gleam like pearls in crazy old neighborhoods.
  • If you try to show off in a building or neighborhood you can’t afford, you must dress, drive, entertain, and live poshly; and that way lies debtor’s prison! A more impressive way to impress is with what’s inside— you and the furniture.
  • I like oyster white or off-white walls. Everything, including you, looks divine in them.
  • If the flat is beautiful and tasteful, it will be sexy…no strewn lingerie, black satin sheets or mirrors on the ceiling needed.

Check, Check and check!

Thanks, Helen!


(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)